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[Opinion] 007

Posted January. 02, 2003 22:24,   


Hollywood movies have a certain sets of unwritten rules – heroes and heroines are most time white, good-looking and rich. Villains are colored people, who are poor, unattractive and ignorant. Another rule is that the west almost always fights for justice and peace of the world, while the other part is a group of evil-doers that is defeated by the west in the end. 007 series movies have been sticking to these rules very successfully.

▷We can only doubt that Hollywood movie producers adopt this formula to justify the west`s hegemonic ideology. We are to see what we see since they make their movies in their ways. Movies are the most popular culture in the world, and Hollywood movies grab more then 80% of the global pie. Seeing Hollywood movies repeatedly, then, we grow to like American things and agree to their ideas. Not to become exposed to this kind of sophisticated brainwashing, we need to learn how to criticize while enjoying American entertainment content for fun.

▷007 Another Day is under fire. Even before the release of the blockbuster movie, an boycott campaign has been launched against the movie, which describes North Korea as evil-doers and stoke cold-war antagonism in the Korean peninsula. A civic organization waged a picket campaign in front of a movie theater set to release the movie. Still, it`s a right for moviegoers to decide whether a movie is good or bad. They can discuss what they think after watching it. The rub here is that civic organizations are waging a boycott campaign even before people see the movie and make their own decisions.

▷What`s most important in cultural activities is `the freedom to create original works.` This is why artists and critics oppose the idea of the government imposing restraints on obscenity. The boycott against `007` will end up impairing the freedom of original works in this country. If we are outrage about the hegemonic ideology exported by Hollywood, we need to look back on ourselves about the way we describe poor countries in our movies. It is the audience`s role to make decisions about a movie. The ongoing boycott might make people wanting to see the 007 movie feel guilty when they enter the movie theater, which is an arrogant and unreasonable way of dealing with the problem.

Hong Chan-shik, Editorial Writer, chansik@donga.com